Bible Study

May 31-June 6


When people come together, acting unanimously, in harmony, in unity, of a single-mind, and without dissent, they are operating in one accord. It was from this place of unity that the Holy Spirit poured out the power of God in the upper room. 

To understand more about what occurred on that day, and what it means for all of us who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, we’re going to take a closer look at the second chapter of the book of Acts — with special focus on the first 16 verses.

Read on…

Acts Chapter 2. The initial experience of the filling of the Holy Spirit.

1. (1-4a) The disciples are filled with the Holy Spirit.

When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit.

a. The Day of Pentecost: This was a Jewish feast held 50 days after Passover. It celebrated the firstfruits of the wheat harvest.

i. In the Jewish rituals of that time, the first sheaf reaped from the barley harvest was presented to God at Passover. But at Pentecost, the firstfruits of the wheat harvest were presented to God; therefore, Pentecost is called the day of the firstfruits (Numbers 28:26).

ii. Jewish tradition also taught that Pentecost marked the day when the Law was given to Israel. The Jews sometimes called Pentecost shimchath torah, or “Joy of the Law.”

iii. On the Old Testament Day of Pentecost Israel received the Law; on the New Testament Day of Pentecost the Church received the Spirit of Grace in fullness.

iv. “It was the best-attended of the great feasts because traveling conditions were at their best. There was never a more cosmopolitan gathering in Jerusalem than this one.” (Hughes)

v. Leviticus 23:15-22 gives the original instructions for the celebration of Pentecost. It says that two loaves of leavened bread were to be waved before the Lord by the priest as part of the celebration. “Were there not two loaves? Not only shall Israel be saved, but the multitude of the Gentiles shall be turned unto the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Spurgeon)

b. When the Day of Pentecost had fully come: It was now 10 days after the time Jesus ascended to heaven (Acts 1:3), and since Jesus commanded them to wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit.

i. The disciples were not strangers to the person and work of the Holy Spirit.

· The disciples saw the Holy Spirit continually at work in the ministry of Jesus.

· The disciples experienced something of the power of the Spirit as they stepped out and served God (Luke 10:1-20).

· The disciples heard Jesus promise a new, coming work of the Holy Spirit (John 14:15-18).

· The disciples received the Holy Spirit in a new way after Jesus finished His work on the cross and instituted the New Covenant in His blood (John 20:19-23).

· The disciples heard Jesus command them to wait for a promised baptism of the Holy Spirit that would empower them to be witnesses (Acts 1:4-5).

ii. They waited until the Day of Pentecost had fully come, but they didn’t know ahead of time how long they would have to wait. It would be easy for them to think it would come the same afternoon Jesus ascended to heaven; or after 3 days, or 7 days. But they had to wait a full 10 days, until the Day of Pentecost had fully come.

iii. The only possible Scriptural precedent for this might be Jeremiah 42:7Ten days later the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah. But who would have suspected that? God used this time to break them down and then to build them up. We can imagine how their patience and kindness and compassion was tested during this time, yet they all stayed together.

iv. What this passage tells us about the gift of the Holy Spirit.

· The gift of the Holy Spirit is promised to us.

· The gift of the Holy Spirit is worth waiting for.

· The gift of the Holy Spirit comes as He wills, often not according to our expectation.

· The gift of the Holy Spirit can come upon not only individuals, but also upon groups (see also Acts 2:44:3110:44).

· The gift of the Holy Spirit is often given as God deals with the flesh and there is a dying to self.

v. What this passage does not tell us about the gift of the Holy Spirit.

· The gift of the Holy Spirit is given according to formula.

· We earn the gift of the Holy Spirit by our seeking.

c. They were all with one accord in one place: They were gathered together sharing the same heart, the same love for God, the same trust in His promise, and the same geography.

i. Before we can be filled, we must recognize our emptiness; by gathering together for prayer, in obedience, these disciples did just that. They recognized they did not have the resources in themselves to do what they could do or should do; they had to instead rely on the work of God.

d. Suddenly there came a sound from heaven: The association of the sound of a rushing mighty wind, filling the whole house, with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit is unusual. But it probably has connection with the fact that in both the Hebrew and Greek languages, the word for spirit (as in Holy Spirit) is the same word for breath or wind (this also happens to be true in Latin). Here, the sound from heaven was the sound of the Holy Spirit being poured out on the disciples.

i. The sound of this fast, mighty wind would make any of these men and women who knew the Hebrew Scriptures think of the presence of the Holy Spirit.

· In Genesis 1:1-2, it is the Spirit of God as the breath/wind of God, blowing over the waters of the newly created earth.

· In Genesis 2:7, it is the Spirit of God as the breath/wind of God, blowing life into newly created man.

· In Ezekiel 37:9-10, it is the Spirit of God as the breath/wind of God, moving over the dry bones of Israel bringing them life and strength.

ii. This single line tells us much about how the Holy Spirit moves.

· Suddenly: Sometimes God moves suddenly.

· Sound: It was real, though it could not be touched; it came by the ears.

· From heaven: It wasn’t of earth; not created or manipulated or made here.

· Mighty: Full of force, coming with great power.

e. There appeared to them divided tongues as of fire, and one sat upon each of them: These divided tongues, as of fire,appearing over each one, were also unusual. It probably should be connected with John the Baptist’s prophecy that Jesus would baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire (Matthew 3:11).

i. The idea behind the picture of fire is usually purification, as a refiner uses fire to make pure gold; or fire can burn away what is temporary, leaving only what will last. This is an excellent illustration of the principle that the filling of the Holy Spirit is not just for abstract power, but for purity.

ii. In certain places in the Old Testament, God showed His special pleasure with a sacrifice by lighting the fire for it Himself – that is, fire from heaven came down and consumed the sacrifice. The experience of the followers of Jesus on Pentecost is another example of God sending fire from heaven to show His pleasure and power, but this time, it descended upon living sacrifices (Romans 12:1).

iii. The Holy Spirit sat upon each of them. “The word ‘sat’ has a marked force in the New Testament. It carries the idea of a completed preparation, and a certain permanence of position and condition.” (Pierson)

iv. Under the Old Covenant, the Holy Spirit rested on God’s people more as a nation, that is, Israel. But under the New Covenant, the Holy Spirit rests upon God’s people as individuals – the tongues of fire sat upon each of them. This strange phenomenon had never happened before and would never happen again in the pages of the Bible, but was given to emphasis this point, that the Spirit of God was present with and in and upon each individual.

f. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit: Essentially, the rushing mighty wind and the tongues, as of fire, were only unusual, temporary phenomenon, which accompanied the true gift – being filled with the Holy Spirit.

i. While it would be wrong to expect a rushing mighty wind or tongues, as of fire, to be present today when the Holy Spirit is poured out, we can experience the true gift. We, just as they, can be all filled with the Holy Spirit.

ii. But we should do what the disciples did before and during their filling with the Holy Spirit.

· The disciples were filled in fulfillment of a promise.

· They were filled as they received in faith.

· They were filled in God’s timing.

· They were filled as they were together in unity.

· They were filled in unusual ways.

iii. This coming and filling of the Holy Spirit was so good, so essential for the work of the community of early Christians, that Jesus actually said that it was better for Him to leave the earth bodily so He could send the Holy Spirit (John 16:7).

2. (4b-13) The phenomenon of speaking in tongues.

And began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, “Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born? Parthians and Medes and Elamites, those dwelling in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya adjoining Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs; we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.” So they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “Whatever could this mean?” Others mocking said, “They are full of new wine.”

a. And began to speak with other tongues: In response to the filling of the Holy Spirit, those present (not only the twelve apostles) began to speak with other tongues. These were languages that they were never taught, and they spoke these languages, speaking as the Spirit gave them utterance.

b. Devout men, from every nation under heaven: The multitude from many nations gathered in Jerusalem because of the Feast of Pentecost. Many of these were the same people who gathered in Jerusalem at the last feast, Passover, when an angry mob demanded the execution of Jesus.

c. And when this sound occurred: A crowd quickly gathered, being attracted by this sound, which was either the sound of the rushing mighty wind or the sound of speaking in other tongues. When the crowd came, they heard the Christians speaking in their own foreign languages. Apparently, the Christians could be heard from the windows of the upper room, or they went out onto some kind of balcony or into the temple courts.

i. Not many homes of that day could hold 120 people. It is far more likely that this upper room was part of the temple courts, which was a huge structure, with porches and colonnades and rooms. The crowd came from people milling about the temple courts.

d. We hear them speaking in our tongues the wonderful works of God: This is what the crowd heard the Christians speak. From this remarkable event, all were amazed and perplexed, but some used it as a means of honest inquiry and asked, “Whatever could this mean?” Others used it as an excuse to dismiss the work of God and said, “They are full of new wine.”

i. Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? People from Galilee (Galileans) were known to be uncultured and poor speakers. This was all the more reason to be impressed with their ability to speak eloquently in other languages. “Galileans had difficulty pronouncing gutturals and had the habit of swallowing syllables when speaking; so they were looked down upon by the people of Jerusalem as being provincial.” (Longenecker)

ii. They all spoke in different tongues, yet there was a unity among the believers. “Ever since the early church fathers, commentators have seen the blessing of Pentecost as a deliberate and dramatic reversal of the curse of Babel.” (Stott)

e. Whatever could this mean? What are we to make of the phenomenon of speaking in tongues? Speaking in tongues has been the focal point for significant controversy in the church. People still ask the same question these bystanders asked on the day of Pentecost.

i. There is no controversy that God, at least at one time, gave the church the gift of tongues. But much of the controversy centers on the question, “what is God’s purpose for the gift of tongues?”

ii. Some think that the gift of tongues was given primarily as a sign to unbelievers (1 Corinthians 14:21-22) and as a means to miraculously communicate the gospel in diverse languages. They believe there is no longer the need for this sign, so they regard tongues as a gift no longer present in the church today.

iii. Others argue that the gift of tongues, while a sign to unbelievers as stated by 1 Corinthians 14:21-22, are primarily a gift of communication between the believer and God (1 Corinthians 14:213-15), and is a gift still given by God today.

iv. Many mistakenly interpret this incident in Acts 2, assuming that the disciples used tongues to preach to the gathered crowd. But a careful look shows this idea is wrong. Notice what the people heard the disciples say: Speaking… the wonderful works of God. The disciples declared the praises of God, thanking Him with all their might in unknown tongues. The gathered crowd merely overheard what the disciples exuberantly declared to God.

v. The idea that these disciples communicated to the diverse crowd in tongues is plainly wrong. The crowd had a common language (Greek), and Peter preached a sermon to them in that language! (Acts 2:14-40)

f. We hear them speaking in our tongues the wonderful works of God: The gift of tongues is a personal language of prayer given by God, whereby the believer communicates with God beyond the limits of knowledge and understanding (1 Corinthians 14:14-15).

i. The Gift of Tongues has an important place in the devotional life of the believer, but a small place in the corporate life of the church (1 Corinthians 14:18-19), especially in public meetings (1 Corinthians 14:23).

ii. When tongues is practiced in the corporate life of the church, it must be carefully controlled, and never without an interpretation given by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 14:27-28).

iii. The ability to pray in an unknown tongue is not a gift given to every believer (1 Corinthians 12:30).

iv. The ability to pray in an unknown tongue is not the primary or singularly true evidence of the filling of the Holy Spirit. This emphasis leads many to seek the gift of tongues (and to counterfeit it) merely to prove to themselves and others that they really are filled with the Holy Spirit.

g. Began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance: Was this speaking in tongues in Acts 2 the same gift of tongues described in 1 Corinthians 12 and 14?

i. Some say we are dealing with two separate gifts. They argue that the 1 Corinthians gift must be regulated and restricted, while the Acts 2 gift can be used any time without regulation. Those who believe they are two separate gifts emphasize that the speech of Acts 2 was immediately recognized by foreign visitors to Jerusalem, while the speech of 1 Corinthians was unintelligible to those present except with a divinely granted gift of interpretation.

ii. However, this doesn’t take into account that the differences have more to do with the circumstances in which the gifts were exercised than with the gifts themselves.

iii. In Jerusalem, the group spoken to was uniquely multi-national and multi-lingual; at feast time (Pentecost), Jews of the dispersion from all over the world were in the city. Therefore, the likelihood that foreign ears would hear a tongue spoken in their language was much greater. On the other hand, in Corinth (though a rather cosmopolitan city itself), the gift was exercised in a local church, with members all sharing a common language (Greek). If one had the same diversity of foreigners visiting the Corinthian church when all were speaking in tongues, it is likely that many would hear members of the Corinthian church speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.

iv. As well, it should never be assumed that each person among the 120 who spoke in tongues on the Day of Pentecost spoke in a language immediately intelligible to human ears present that day. We read they all…began to speak with other tongues; therefore there were some 120 individuals speaking in tongues. Since the nations spoken of in Acts 2:9-11 number only fifteen (with perhaps others present but not mentioned), it is likely that many (if not most) of the 120 spoke praises to God in a language that was not understood by someone immediately present. The text simply does not indicate that someone present could understand each person speaking in tongues.

v. However, we should not assume those who were not immediately understood by human ears spoke “gibberish,” as the modern gift of tongues is sometimes called with derision. They may have praised God in a language completely unknown, yet completely human. After all, what would the language of the Aztecs sound like to Roman ears? Or some may have spoke in a completely unique language given by God and understood by Him and Him alone. After all, communication with God, not man, is the purpose of the gift of tongues (1 Corinthians 14:2). The repetition of simple phrases, unintelligible and perhaps nonsensical to human bystanders, does not mean someone speaks “gibberish.” Praise to God may be simple and repetitive, and part of the whole dynamic of tongues is that it bypasses the understanding of the speaker (1 Corinthians 14:14), being understood by God and God alone.

vi. All in all, we should regard the gift of Acts 2 and the gift of tongues in 1 Corinthians as the same, simply because the same term is used for both in the original language (heterais glossais). Also, the verb translated gave them utterance in Acts 2:4 is frequently used in Greek literature in connection with spiritually prompted (ecstatic) speech, not mere translation into other languages.

B. Peter’s sermon on the day of Pentecost.

1. (14-15) Peter begins his sermon.

But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words. For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day.”

a. Peter, standing up with the eleven: Peter stood and preached to the crowd as a representative of the whole group of apostles.

i. We should notice that the speaking in tongues stopped when Peter began to preach. The Holy Spirit now worked through Peter’s preaching and would not work against Himself through tongues at the same time.

b. Raised his voice: There was a remarkable change in Peter. He had courage and boldness that was a complete contrast to his denials of Jesus before being filled with the Holy Spirit.

i. On the Day of Pentecost Peter didn’t teach as the rabbis in his day usually did, who gathered disciples around them, sat down, and instructed them and any others who might listen. Instead, Peter proclaimed the truth like a herald.

ii. This remarkable sermon had no preparation behind it – it was spontaneously given. Peter didn’t wake up that morning knowing he would preach to thousands, and that thousands would embrace Jesus in response. Yet we could say that this was a well-prepared sermon; it was prepared by Peter’s prior life with God and relationship with Jesus. It flowed spontaneously out of that life, and out of a mind that thought and believed deeply.

iii. It is good to remember that what we have in Acts 2 is a small portion of what Peter actually said. Acts 2:40 tells us, And with many other words he testified and exhorted them. Like almost all the sermons recorded in the Bible, what we have is a Holy Spirit inspired abridgment of a longer message.

c. For these are not drunk: Peter deflected the mocking criticism that the disciples were drunk. In that day it was unthinkable that people would be so drunk so early in the day (about 9:00 in the morning).

i. Commentator Adam Clarke says that most Jews – pious or not – did not eat or drink until after the third hour of the day, because that was the time for prayer, and they would only eat after their business with God was accomplished.

d. These are not drunk: We shouldn’t think that the Christians were acting as if they were drunk. The idea of “being drunk in the Spirit” has no foundation in Scripture; the comment from the mockers on the Day of Pentecost had no basis in reality.

i. “Nor, must we add, did the believers’ experience of the Spirit’s fullness seem to them or look to others like intoxication, because they had lost control of their normal mental and physical functions. No, the fruit of the Spirit is ‘self-control,’ not the loss of it.” (Stott)

Read more here.

May 24-30

This week, join us as we look at two different passages of scripture: Psalm 107:1-9 and Psalm 112. Read along with us and meditate in these scriptures.

Psalm 107

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
    his love endures forever.

Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story—
    those he redeemed from the hand of the foe,
those he gathered from the lands,
    from east and west, from north and south.a]”>[a]

Some wandered in desert wastelands,
finding no way to a city where they could settle.
They were hungry and thirsty,
and their lives ebbed away.
Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
and he delivered them from their distress.
He led them by a straight way
to a city where they could settle.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love
and his wonderful deeds for mankind,
for he satisfies the thirsty
and fills the hungry with good things.

Psalm 112a]”>[a]

Praise the Lord.b]”>[b] Blessed are those who fear the Lord, who find great delight in his commands.

Their children will be mighty in the land;
    the generation of the upright will be blessed.
Wealth and riches are in their houses,
    and their righteousness endures forever.
Even in darkness light dawns for the upright,
    for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous.
Good will come to those who are generous and lend freely,
    who conduct their affairs with justice.

Surely the righteous will never be shaken;
    they will be remembered forever.
They will have no fear of bad news;
    their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.
Their hearts are secure, they will have no fear;
    in the end they will look in triumph on their foes.
They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor,
    their righteousness endures forever;
    their hornc]”>[c] will be lifted high in honor.

10 The wicked will see and be vexed,
    they will gnash their teeth and waste away;
    the longings of the wicked will come to nothing.


  1. Psalm 112:1 This psalm is an acrostic poem, the lines of which begin with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet.
  2. Psalm 112:1 Hebrew Hallelu Yah
  3. Psalm 112:9 Horn here symbolizes dignity.

May 24-30

This week, join us as we look at two different passages of scripture: Psalm 107:1-9 and Psalm 112. Read along with us and meditate in these scriptures.

Psalm 107

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
    his love endures forever.

Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story—
    those he redeemed from the hand of the foe,
those he gathered from the lands,
    from east and west, from north and south.a]”>[a]

Some wandered in desert wastelands,
finding no way to a city where they could settle.
They were hungry and thirsty,
and their lives ebbed away.
Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
and he delivered them from their distress.
He led them by a straight way
to a city where they could settle.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love
and his wonderful deeds for mankind,
for he satisfies the thirsty
and fills the hungry with good things.

Psalm 112a]”>[a]

Praise the Lord.b]”>[b] Blessed are those who fear the Lord, who find great delight in his commands.

Their children will be mighty in the land;
    the generation of the upright will be blessed.
Wealth and riches are in their houses,
    and their righteousness endures forever.
Even in darkness light dawns for the upright,
    for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous.
Good will come to those who are generous and lend freely,
    who conduct their affairs with justice.

Surely the righteous will never be shaken;
    they will be remembered forever.
They will have no fear of bad news;
    their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.
Their hearts are secure, they will have no fear;
    in the end they will look in triumph on their foes.
They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor,
    their righteousness endures forever;
    their hornc]”>[c] will be lifted high in honor.

10 The wicked will see and be vexed,
    they will gnash their teeth and waste away;
    the longings of the wicked will come to nothing.


  1. Psalm 112:1 This psalm is an acrostic poem, the lines of which begin with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet.
  2. Psalm 112:1 Hebrew Hallelu Yah
  3. Psalm 112:9 Horn here symbolizes dignity.

May 17-23


This week, we’ll be meditating in PSALM 100, which is an exhortation to praise God, and rejoice in Him! This song is considered a prophecy, and can also be used as a prayer to bring forth the fulfillment — ushering in a time when all people will know that the Lord is God, and will become His worshipers and the sheep of his pasture.  

It can be a great encouragement to understand this prophecy, and it may inspire us in worshiping God, cheerfully. If, we have ever strayed like a wandering sheep, and God brought us back to His fold, we have even more reason to bless His Name. Often, these memories of God’s goodness caused us to know Him in a deeper way, and they motivate us to praise Him. So, consider those things that caused you to see God’s mercy, salvation and goodness — those moments where you grew to know Him more. Then consider and apply that to your worship. 

The covenant of grace set down in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament, with so many rich promises, to strengthen the faith of every weak believer, makes the matter of God’s praise and of his people’s joys so sure. However sad we may feel when we look at ourselves, or the difficulty of a situation we are facing, can change when we remember that we have reason to praise the Lord. We rest in God’s mercy knowing that what He has promised in this prophecy will come to pass.

May 10-16

Our prayer focus: Johnny & Ruth Larring. Ask the Lord to bless the Larrings — body, soul and spirit — and to continue to meet all of their needs (Philippians 4:19).

This week, we’ll be meditating in Psalm 91. This psalm has no title, and the author remains unknown. Because it shares some of the themes of Psalm 90, some think Moses was the author. Because it shares some of the themes and phrases of Psalms 27 and 31, some think the author was David. But ultimately, we know the Holy Spirit inspired the writing of this encouraging psalm.

If you haven’t already done so, make it your goal to memorize Psalm 91:1-2!  It’s sure to boost your faith and encourage your spirit! Read on…

A. The assurance of God’s protection.

1. (1-2) The protection, comfort, and care of Yahweh.

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the LORD, “He is 
my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.”

a. He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High: God has a secret place for His own (Psalm 27:531:20), and it is a place to live in. Those who dwell there abide under the shadow of the Almighty, knowing His protection, comfort, and care.

i. In Psalm 90:1, Moses spoke of God as the dwelling place of His people. The opening lines of Psalm 91 seem to take that idea further. “Moses spoke of God as the dwelling-place, the habitation, the home of man. This singer seems to accept that great idea, and then to speak of the most central chamber of the dwelling-place, referring to it as the Secret Place, and describing its complete security.” (Morgan)

ii. There are many followers of Jesus Christ who seem to know very little of the secret place of the Most High or what it is to abide under His shadow. Many seem to regard this as only a thing for mystics or the super-spiritual. Yet David, if he wrote this, was a warrior and man well acquainted with the realities of life. It is true that the life of the spirit seems to come more easily for some than for others, but there is an aspect of the secret place of the Most High that is for everyone who puts his trust in Him.

iii. “Every child of God looks towards the inner sanctuary and the mercy-seat, yet all do not dwell in the most holy place; they run to it at times, and enjoy occasional approaches, but they do not habitually reside in the mysterious presence.” (Spurgeon)

iv. The shadow of the Almighty: “This is an expression which implies great nearness. We must walk very close to a companion, if we would have his shadow fall on us.” (Duncan, cited in Spurgeon)

v. Spurgeon (borrowing from Frances Ridley Havergal) suggested four ways the Scripture speaks of the shadow of the Almighty.

· The shadow of the rock (Isaiah 32:2).

· The shadow of the tree (Song of Solomon 2:3).

· The shadow of His wings (Psalm 63:7).

· The shadow of His hand (Isaiah 49:2).

vi. These first two verses of Psalm 91 use four wonderful titles or names for God:

· Most HighElyon.

· AlmightyShadday.

· The LORDYahweh.

· My GodElohay.

b. He is my refuge and my fortress: The one who lives intimately with God knows the greatness of His protection. God Himself becomes like a mighty refuge and fortress for the believer.

i. My refuge: “Have you ever said definitely, ‘O Lord, thou art my refuge’? Fleeing from all other, have you sheltered in Him from the windy storm and tempest, from the harrow by day, and pestilence by night, from man and devil? You must avow it. Do not only think it, but say it.” (Meyer)

c. My God, in Him I will trust: This close relationship with God and all the benefits that come from it are for those who know Yahweh as God, and who truly trust in Him. As a believer receives His protection, comfort, and care, he trusts God all the more, and increasingly knows Him as God.

i. “Men are apt enough to proclaim their doubts, and even to boast of them, indeed there is a party nowadays of the most audacious pretenders to culture and thought, who glory in casting suspicion upon everything; hence it becomes the duty of all true believers to speak out and testify with calm courage to their own well-grounded reliance upon their God.” (Spurgeon)

ii. Spurgeon suggested many different Biblical examples of people who had their own expression of the phrase My God.

· My God is the young convert’s confession (Ruth, as in Ruth 1:16).

· My God is the individual Christian’s belief (Thomas, as in John 20:28).

· My God is the declaration of the believer when opposed (Micaiah, as in 1 Kings 22:14).

· My God is the secret vow of the believer in consecration (Jacob, as in Genesis 32:28-30).

· My God is the deepest comfort to God’s children in great woe (Jesus, as in Matthew 27:46).

· My God is the celebration for the victorious believer (Miriam, as in Exodus 15:21).

2. (3-4) How God brings His protection, comfort, and care.

Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler
from the perilous pestilence.
He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your 
shield and buckler.

a. Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler: Following the general statement of the first two verses, now the psalmist describes the specific ways God protects and cares for His people – beginning with rescue from those who would trap God’s people as the fowler snares birds.

i. These are “…metaphors for the plots which would entangle our affairs (Psalm 140:1-5) or compromise our loyalty (Psalm 119:110).” (Kidner)

ii. “We are foolish and weak as poor little birds, and are very apt to be lured to our destruction by cunning foes, but if we dwell near to God, he will see to it that the most skilful deceiver shall not entrap us.” (Spurgeon)

iii. The devil and his agents often work as the fowler works.

· The fowler works in secret.

· The fowler changes his trap and methods.

· The fowler often entices with pleasure or profit.

· The fowler often uses a bad example, a decoy.

iv. “The most striking feature of this section (and the one following) is the use of the singular you throughout, which is a way of saying that these truths are for each person individually. They are for you if you will truly trust or abide in God.” (Boice)

b. And from the perilous pestilence: God also protects His people in times of plague and disease. The psalmist, inspired by the Holy Spirit, did not intend this as an absolute promise, that every believer would be delivered from every snare or every pestilence. Instead, the idea is that the psalmist could point to many times when God did just that for His trusting people.

i. “This does not mean that those who trust God never die from infectious diseases or suffer from an enemy’s plot, of course. It means that those who trust God are habitually delivered from such dangers. What Christian cannot testify to many such deliverances?” (Boice)

ii. “Lord Craven, a Christian, was a nobleman who was living in London when plague ravaged the city in the fifteenth century. In order to escape the spreading pestilence Craven determined to leave the city for his country home, as many of his social standing did. He ordered his coach and baggage made ready. But as he was walking down one of the halls of his home about to enter his carriage, he overheard one of his servants say to another, ‘I suppose by my lord’s quitting London to avoid the plague that his God lives in the country and not in town.’ It was a straightforward and apparently innocent remark. But it struck Lord Craven so deeply that he canceled his journey, saying, ‘My God lives everywhere and can preserve me in town as well as in the country. I will stay where I am.’ So he stayed in London. He helped the plague victims, and he did not catch the disease himself.” (Boice)

iii. There is also a spiritual understanding and application of this. “The soul hath likewise her enemies, ready to attack and surprise her at all hours.” (Horne)

iv. “Children of God are not always immune from physical plague and pestilence; but they are ever guarded from destructive spiritual forces as they dwell in the secret place of the Most High.” (Morgan)

c. He shall cover you with His feathers: In a metaphor, God is represented as a bird, sheltering young chicks under His wings – as David previously described in Psalm 61:4.

i. “The mother eagle, spreading her…wing over her eaglets, is a wonderful symbol of the union of power and gentleness.” (Maclaren)

ii. “Saith Luther; it is faith which maketh thee the little chicken, and Christ the hen; that thou mayest hide, and hope, and hover, and cover under his wings; for there is health in his wings.” (Trapp)

iii. Boice connected Matthew 23:37 to verse 4: “Jesus would have saved and sheltered Jerusalem and its inhabitants, but the people were not willing. They would not come to him. They would not ‘dwell’ in the shelter of the Most High. They cried out for his crucifixion instead.” (Boice)

d. His truth shall be your shield and buckler: The pictures of God’s protection continue with His truth represented as the smaller, often round shield and the larger, often rectangular shield, the buckler.

i. “As for God’s care, it combines the warm protectiveness of a parent bird with the hard, unyielding strength of armour.” (Kidner)

ii. Shield and buckler: “Double armour has he who relies upon the Lord. He bears a shield and wears an all-surrounding coat of mail.” (Spurgeon)

iii. Boice on buckler: “The Hebrew word signifies something that is wrapped around a person for his or her protection; hence, it can mean ‘buckler,’ ‘armor,’ or, as in the New International Version, a ‘rampart’ or fortress.”

3. (5-6) The result of God’s protection and care.

You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
of the arrow that flies by day,
of the pestilence that walks in darkness,
of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.

a. You shall not be afraid: Having God as a shelter and refuge gives strength and courage to the people of God. When God’s people are stuck deep in fear, it is an indication that they fall short of proper trust in God as protector and comforter.

i. “Not to be afraid is in itself an unspeakable blessing, since for every suffering which we endure from real injury we are tormented by a thousand griefs which arise from fear only.” (Spurgeon)

ii. “In life the Lord may permit many terrible things to happen to his children (cf. Job), as he did to his own Son, our Lord. But his children know that no power is out of God’s control.” (VanGemeren)

b. Of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day: The psalmist represented all kinds of destruction that could come in all kinds of circumstances. It could come by night or by dayin darkness or at noonday. It could come as terror or by arrow, as a pestilence or as destruction. Whenever or however it comes, God is able to defend His people.

i. “The assaults of enemies and the devastations of pestilence are taken in Psalm 91:5-6 as types of all perils.” (Maclaren)

4. (7-8) Assurance for the believer.

A thousand may fall at your side,
And ten thousand at your right hand;
it shall not come near you.
Only with your eyes shall you look,
And see the reward of the wicked.

a. A thousand may fall at your side: The psalmist described how God’s protection could conquer any odds or probabilities. God’s protection and care could be so specifically focused that it can preserve one in ten thousand.

i. “It is impossible that any ill should happen to the man who is beloved of the Lord; the most crushing calamities can only shorten his journey and hasten him to his reward. Ill to him is no ill, but only good in a mysterious form. Losses enrich him, sickness is his medicine, reproach is his honour, death is his gain. No evil in the strict sense of the word can happen to him, for everything is overruled for good.” (Spurgeon)

b. See the reward of the wicked: In contrast to the protection of His chosen, God has also appointed a reward for the wicked. God’s people are encouraged to look at this truth and carefully consider it.

B. The assurance repeated twice over.

1. (9-13) Repeating the promise of deliverance and assurance of victory.

Because you have made the LORD, who is my refuge,
the Most High, your dwelling place,
No evil shall befall you,
Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
For He shall give His angels charge over you,
To keep you in all your ways.
In their 
hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.
You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra,
The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.

a. Because you have made the LORD…your dwelling place: The principles and promises in verses 10 through 16 are directed toward those who trust in the LORD, making Him their dwelling place – their source of life and satisfaction.

b. No evil shall befall you: The previous promises (verses 5-8) of security and safety even in a time of plague are repeated. Again, this is not regarded as an absolute promise for every believer in every circumstance, because beloved people of God have fallen to evil or died in plague. It is the happy expectation of the psalmist and a general expression of God’s protection, comfort, and care for His people.

i. “Martin Luther wrote that this refers to ‘one who really dwells and does not merely appear to dwell and does not just imagine that he dwells’ in God.” (Boice)

ii. “This and such-like promises are not to be understood absolutely and universally, as if no truly good man could be cut off by the plague or other common calamities, which is confimed both by other plain texts of Scripture, and by unquestionable experience.” (Poole)

iii. “For it may befall a saint to share in a common calamity; as the good corn and weeds are cut down together, but for a different end and purpose.” (Trapp)

iv. “God doth not say no afflictions shall befall us, but no evil.” (Watson, cited in Spurgeon)

c. Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling: Charles Spurgeon gave remarkable testimony to a specific fulfillment of this promise:

i. “In the year 1854, when I had scarcely been in London twelve months, the neighbourhood in which I laboured was visited by Asiatic cholera, and my congregation suffered from its inroads. Family after family summoned me to the bedside of the smitten, and almost every day I was called to visit the grave. I gave myself up with youthful ardour to the visitation of the sick, and was sent for from all corners of the district by persons of all ranks and religions. I became weary in body and sick at heart. My friends seemed falling one by one, and I felt or fancied that I was sickening like those around me. A little more work and weeping would have laid me low among the rest; I felt that my burden was heavier than I could bear, and I was ready to sink under it. As God would have it, I was returning mournfully home from a funeral, when my curiosity led me to read a paper which was wafered up in a shoemaker’s window in the Dover Road. It did not look like a trade announcement, nor was it, for it bore in a good bold handwriting these words:‘Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; there shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.’ The effect upon my heart was immediate. Faith appropriated the passage as her own. I felt secure, refreshed, girt with immortality. I went on with my visitation of the dying in a calm and peaceful spirit; I felt no fear of evil, and I suffered no harm. The providence which moved the tradesman to place those verses in his window I gratefully acknowledge, and in the remembrance of its marvellous power I adore the Lord my God.” (Spurgeon)

d. For He shall give His angels charge over you: This describes another way God may send His protection and care unto His people – through His angels, commanding them to keep and bear…up His people.

i. “The angels of God shall have an especial charge to accompany, defend, and preserve thee; and against their power, the influence of evil spirits cannot prevail. These will, when necessary, turn thy steps out of the way of danger; ward it off when it comes in thy ordinary path.” (Clarke)

ii. “Charge; charge is a strict command, more than a bare command; as when you would have a servant do a business certainly and fully, you lay a charge upon him, I charge you that you do not neglect that business; you do not barely tell what he should do, prescribe him his work, but you charge him to do it. So says the Lord unto the angels.” (Bridge, cited in Spurgeon)

iii. “Not one guardian angel, as some fondly dream, but all the angels are here alluded to…. They have received commission from their Lord and ours to watch carefully over all the interests of the faithful.” (Spurgeon)

iv. “How angels thus keep us we cannot tell. Whether they repel demons, counteract spiritual plots, or even ward off the subtler physical forces of disease, we do not know. Perhaps we shall one day stand amazed at the multiplied services which the unseen bands have rendered to us.” (Spurgeon)

v. “Let us remember that it is GOD, whose these angels are; HE gives them charge – from HIM they receive their commission – to HIM they are responsible for their charge. From God thou art to expect them; and for their help he alone is to receive the praise. It is expressly said, He shall give his angels charge; to show that they are not to be prayed to nor praised; but GOD alone, whose servants they are.” (Clarke)

e. For He shall give His angels charge over you: The promise in verses 11 and 12 was quoted and twisted by Satan in His temptation of Jesus in the wilderness (Matthew 4:5-7Luke 4:9-12). Satan tempted Jesus to create an artificial crisis by throwing Himself from a high point on the temple mount, and Satan quoted Psalm 91:11-12 as a promise of protection if Jesus were to do this.

i. As Matthew 4 records, Satan’s quotation of Psalm verses 11 and 12 is a pattern of how he twists the word of God.

· Verses 11 and 12 were falsely quoted, because the devil left out the words to keep you in all your ways. To test God in this way was not Jesus’ way; it was not the way of the Savior. “God had never promised, nor ever given, any protection of angels in sinful and forbidden ways.” (Poole on Matthew 4)

· This text is wrongly applied, because it was not used to teach or encourage, but intended instead to deceive: “…making this word a promise to be fulfilled upon Christ’s neglect of his duty; extending the promise of special providence as to dangers into which men voluntarily throw themselves.” (Poole on Matthew 4)

ii. In a strange way we are grateful for Satan’s attempt in Matthew 4, because it helps us better understand Psalm 91. We see that it does not give absolute promises for every believer in every circumstance, but beautiful promises of God’s protection, comfort, and care that are specifically received and applied in the believer by the Holy Spirit.

iii. The angels were there to help Jesus in His temptation, just not in the way the devil suggested (Matthew 4:11).

f. You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra: The protection of God to His people extends beyond the general deliverance from harm; it also speaks of a general granting of victory to His people, even over opponents as strong as the young lion and the cobra.

i. These words are “…depicting God’s servants not merely as survivors but as victors, who trample deadly enemies under foot.” (Kidner)

ii. There is another interesting connection with the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness. “The Lord’s trust in his Father also resulted in Satan’s defeat, another part of the psalm the devil omitted.” (Boice)

2. (14-16) God’s promise to and blessing over the one who loves Him.

“Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him on high, because he has known My name.
He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;
will be 
with him in trouble;
I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him,
And show him My salvation.”

a. Because he has set his love upon Me: These last three verses are set in the first person as God speaks promise and blessing over His people. He speaks specifically over those who set their love upon Him. It has been wonderfully noted that the last words of this psalm are not spoken by God’s people, but to God’s people.

i. He has set his love upon Me: This “…is used elsewhere in contexts of setting one’s heart on somebody or on some enterprise. As man’s commitment to God it comes only here.” (Kidner)

ii. To set one’s love upon God means to do it by choice. He does not wait for the feeling of love to come, but simply chooses to think and act toward God in ways that express and build love. This would include:

· Spending time with God.

· Listening to God.

· Reading what God has written to us.

· Speaking to God.

· Thinking of God in unoccupied moments.

· Adoring God.

· Speaking of God to others.

· Giving to God and making glad sacrifices to Him and for Him.

iii. Our present culture often thinks of love as something that happens to people, not something chosen. The phrase because he has set his love on Me reminds us that a significant aspect of love is indeed a choice, and this describes in part the love we should give unto God.

b. Therefore I will deliver Him: The promises and principles stated previously in this psalm are repeated again, but this time from the perspective of God Himself. God will protect His beloved and set him on high – and do it because he has known My name, having a real relationship with God.

i. I will set him on high: “I will place him out of the reach of all his enemies. I will honour and ennoble him, because he hath known my name – because he has loved, honoured, and served me, and rendered me that worship which is my due. He has known me to be the God of infinite mercy and love.” (Clarke)

ii. “There are blessings that some believers miss out on, simply because they are always fretting and do not trust God as they should. Here the psalmist quotes God as saying that the blessings are for those who love God and acknowledge his name (verse 14), call upon him (verse 15), and seek satisfaction in what he alone can provide.” (Boice)

c. He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him: God promises to answer the prayer of the one who loves Him, and the one who genuinely knows Him.

d. I will be with him: In the last lines of the psalm, God spoke personal and wonderful blessings over the one who loves and knows Him:

· The blessing of His presence: I will be with him in trouble.

· The blessing of His protection: I will deliver him.

· The blessing of His promotion: I will…honor him.

· The blessing of His prosperity: With long life I will satisfy him.

· The blessing of His preservation: And show him My salvation.

i. I will be with him: “So, no man need add solitude to sadness, but may have God sitting with him, like Job’s friends, waiting to comfort him with true comfort.” (Maclaren)

ii. I will be with him in trouble: “Again God speaks and acts like a tender-hearted mother towards a sickly child. When the child is in perfect health she can leave it in the hands of the nurse; but when it is sick she will attend it herself; she will say to the nurse, ‘You may attend a while to some other business, I will watch over the child myself.’” (Dawson, cited in Spurgeon)

(c) 2020 The Enduring Word Bible Commentary by David Guzik –

May 3-May 9

PRAISING OUR OMNISCIENT AND OMNIPRESENT GOD: This week, we’re studying Psalm 139, with special focus on verses 23-24. David encourages us to give praise to God who is not only everywhere, but who knows all things including the thoughts of our human hearts. 

Listen to Psalm 139.

A. The greatness of God touches my life.

1. (1-6) The all-knowing God knows me.

O LORD, You have searched me and known me.
You know my sitting down and my rising up;
You understand my thought afar off.
You comprehend my path and my lying down,
And are acquainted with all my ways.
For there is 
not a word on my tongue,
behold, O LORD, You know it altogether.
You have hedged me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.
knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is high, I cannot attain 

a. You have searched me and known me: David prayed to Yahweh, understanding that He had personal knowledge of him. Pagans often thought that their gods were hostile or indifferent to men and women; David knew that the true God cared enough to have searched and known each man and woman.

· It’s not just that God knows everything – He knows me.

· It’s not just that God is everywhere – He is everywhere with me.

· It’s not just that God created everything – He created me.

i. “Any small thoughts that we may have of God are magnificently transcended by this psalm; yet for all its height and depth it remains intensely personal from first to last.” (Kidner)

ii. “All my postures, gestures, practices…whether I sit, stand, walk, lie; thou searchest and knowest all. Some search, but know not; thou dost both.” (Trapp)

b. You know my sitting down and my rising up: David used this proverbial phrase to say that God knew everything about him, even the most everyday things. As Jesus would later say, God knows the number of hairs on our head (Matthew 10:30).

i. “Even these inconsiderable and casual things are under thy continual notice. I cannot so much as take a seat, or leave it, without being marked by thee.” (Clarke)

ii. VanGemeren points out that when looking You know (verse 2) and You covered (verse 13) in the Hebrew grammar, the emphasis is on You. “This section continues the emphasis on divine involvement by an emphatic use of ‘you’.”

c. You understand my thought afar off: God not only knew the smallest aspects of David’s everyday life; He also knew his thoughts. God knows our words before we speak them, and there is nothing of us hidden from the all-knowing God. As David wrote, You are acquainted with all my ways.

i. “Divine knowledge is perfect, since not a single word is unknown, nay, not even an unspoken word, and each one is ‘altogether’ or wholly known.” (Spurgeon)

ii. The fact that God knows every word on my tongue should affect my speech. Those who claim to be disciples of Jesus Christ, yet use profanity or impurity of speech, should remember that God hears and knows every word.

d. You have hedged me behind and before: The normal sense of a hedge in the Bible is of a protective barrier. God hedged David on every side, so that nothing could come to David unless it first passed through God’s permission. What was true for David is true for all who trust in the LORD.

i. It can be very uncomfortable to know that you are always being watched. We may get nervous if we see video cameras monitoring us at all times. Yet our unease is based on the fact that we doubt the good intentions or good will of those who watch us. The child is comforted that a loving parent watches over him; when we are confident in the love and care of God our Father, His constant knowledge of us is a comfort rather than a curse.

e. And laid Your hand upon me: As with the hedge, this was an expression of God’s love and care for David. This was not the hand of oppression, but the hand of grace.

i. “This statement of omniscience is characteristically vivid and concrete: not formulated as a doctrine but, as befits a psalm, confessed in adoration. This divine knowledge is not merely comprehensive, like that of some receptor that misses nothing, capturing everything alike. It is personal and active.” (Kidner)

f. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me: David understood that God knew him better than he knew himself, a wonderful and humble place to be. We sometimes reject what God and His word say about us and our condition; we should recognize that He knows us better than we know ourselves.

i. Too wonderful for me: “I cannot grasp it. I can hardly endure to think of it. The theme overwhelms me. I am amazed and astounded at it. Such knowledge not only surpasses my comprehension, but even my imagination.” (Spurgeon)

2. (7-12) The all-present God is with me.

Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend into heaven, You are 
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.

I take the wings of the morning,
dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
Even there Your hand shall lead me,
And Your right hand shall hold me.
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall on me,”
Even the night shall be light about me;
Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You,
But the night shines as the day;
The darkness and the light are 
both alike to You.

a. Where can I go from Your Spirit: David considered the truth that God is present everywhere, and there is no corner or dimension of the universe hidden from Him. Heaven isn’t too high and hell isn’t too low; God is everywhere.

i. “Here he argueth God’s omniscience from his omnipresence.” (Trapp)

ii. “The psalmist is not trying to evade God, but he further amplifies that God’s knowledge is beyond the ability of humans to grasp. The knowledge or discernment of God can never be limited to any particular place, because God’s sovereignty extends to the whole created universe.” (VanGemeren)

iii. “The Psalmist speaks of God as a Person everywhere present in creation, yet distinct from creation. In these verses he says, ‘Thy spirit…thy presence…thou art there…thy hand…thy right hand…darkness hideth not from thee.’ God is everywhere, but he is not everything.” (Jones, cited in Spurgeon)

b. Your Spirit?…. Your presence? David probably did not have a deep understanding of Trinitarian theology, but by the inspiration of God he spoke of God’s Spirit as an essential aspect of His being and presence.

i. From Your presence: “Mippaneycha, ‘from thy faces.’ Why do we meet with this word so frequently in the plural number, when applied to God? And why have we his Spirit, and his appearances or faces, both here? A Trinitarian would at once say, ‘The plurality of persons in the Godhead is intended;’ and who can prove that he is mistaken?” (Clarke)

ii. “The presence of God’s glory is in heaven; the presence of his power on earth; the presence of his justice in hell; and the presence of his grace with his people.” (Mason, cited in Spurgeon)

c. If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there: David did not describe what we normally think of as hell – Gehenna (Matthew 10:28 and 18:9), the lake of fire (Revelation 20:14-15). The Hebrew word here is sheol, which normally has the sense of the grave or by implication the afterlife.

i. Though David did not use the specific word for hell, the sense would be the same. Even in hell, God will be present because there is no place where God cannot be. Yet God’s presence in hell will radiate none of His love and grace – only His righteous judgment.

ii. “Heaven is the seat of his glory, creation the scene of his providence, and the grave itself will be the theatre of his power.” (Horne)

iii. “Thou art in heaven, in thy glory; in hell, in thy vindictive justice; and in all parts of earth, water, space, place, or vacuity, by thy omnipresence.” (Clarke)

d. Wings of the morning: This may well refer to the spread and speed of light as it fills the morning sky from the east to the west. Light itself can not outrun God’s presence and knowledge.

i. “Light flies with inconceivable rapidity, and it flashes far afield beyond all human ken; it illuminates the great and wide sea, and sets its waves gleaming afar; but its speed would utterly fail if employed in flying from the Lord.” (Spurgeon)

e. Even there Your hand shall lead me: David was so assured of the constant presence of God’s hand of love and care that not even death and the grave could separate him from God’s love – as Paul would later write in Romans 8:38-39. In fact, God’s right hand – His hand of skill and strength – would hold David no matter what may come.

i. “The piety and charity which are patiently endured in the field, and on the bed of sickness; the misery and torment inflicted by persecution in the mines, the galleys, and the dungeons; all are under the inspection of Jehovah, and are noted down by him against the day of recompense.” (Horne)

f. Even the night shall be light about me: God’s presence with David was like a constant light in the darkness. As the pillar of cloud illuminated Israel in the wilderness (Exodus 13:21), so with God’s presence the night shines as the day.

i. “Darkness may, indeed, conceal us and our deeds from the sight of men; but the divine presence, like that of the sun, turns night into day, and makes all things manifest before God.” (Horne)

ii. “Darkness is light to Him, and has no hiding place from Him.” (Morgan)

3. (13-16) The eternal God formed me.

For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and 
wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that 
my soul knows very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were 
none of them.

a. For You formed my inward parts: The God of all knowledge and constant presence had the care and concern to personally form the child in his mother’s womb. It speaks of the fact that God knew David from before his birth, as a child conceived and developing in the womb.

i. That fact that God knows and cares for children in the womb means that God’s concern for life begins at conception. It means that God’s people have a responsibility to also know and care for children in the womb.

ii. Some people argue for the moral right to have an abortion because the mother has the right to do as she pleases with her own body. Psalm 139 demonstrates that God sees another person in the mother’s womb.

b. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: David the son of Jesse was a remarkable man. He was a shepherd, a special forces soldier, a hero, a poet, and a king. In some respects, here he also added scientist to his accomplishments. With the mind of a trained biologist but the skill of a poet, David declared that he was fearfully and wonderfully made.

i. The workings of the human body are stunning in their design and execution. We know far more than David ever did about how we are made, and it should make us full of more awe and praise than David ever had.

ii. “Thy infinite power and wisdom, manifested in the rare and curious structure of man’s body, doth fill me with wonder and astonishment, and with the dread of thy majesty.” (Poole)

iii. “The Psalmist had scarcely peered within the veil which hides the nerves, sinews, and blood-vessels from common inspection; the science of anatomy was quite unknown to him; and yet he had seen enough to arouse his admiration of the work and his reverence for the Worker.” (Spurgeon)

iv. “The greatest miracle in the world is man; in whose very body (how much more in his soul!) are miracles enough (between head and feet) to fill a volume.” (Trapp)

v. “If we are marvelously wrought upon even before we are born, what shall we say of the Lord’s dealings with us after we quit his secret workshop, and he directs our pathway through the pilgrimage of life? What shall we not say of that new birth which is even more mysterious than the first, and exhibits even more the love and wisdom of the Lord.” (Spurgeon)

c. And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth: Here David used the phrase lowest parts of the earth to refer to any mysterious, unseen place. The process of a baby’s formation in a mother’s womb has always been as unseen and mysterious as that which happens in the lowest parts of the earth.

i. Skillfully wrought: “Hebrew embroidered; exquisitely composed of bones, and muscles, and sinews, and veins, and arteries, and other parts, all framed with such wonderful skill, that even heathens, upon the contemplation of all the parts of man’s body, and how excellently they were framed, both for beauty and use, have broken forth into pangs of admiration and adoration of the Creator of man.” (Poole)

ii. The work of God in fashioning the body of the individual has made some people wonder about the presence of birth defects, and what that may mean regarding God’s work. We should regard such birth defects as injuries to God’s original design, and even as a person may be injured out of the womb, so they can be injured while still in the womb and in the process of formation. Such injuries are the result of the fall and the corruption it introduced into the world, yet still the eye of faith can see the hand of God at work in what defects or injuries He would allow in His providence.

iii. The lowest parts of the earth: “The mysterious receptacle in which the unborn body takes shape and grows is delicately described as ‘secret’ and likened to the hidden region of the underworld, where are the dead. The point of comparison is the mystery enwrapping both.” (Maclaren)

iv. “Much of the formation of our inner man still proceeds in secret; hence the more of solitude the better for us.” (Spurgeon)

d. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed: What David (and others) could not see, God could see perfectly. This is another demonstration of his perfect knowledge and care.

i. The Puritan commentator John Trapp had a strange statement on the phrase was not hidden: “Aquinas saith that at the resurrection the bodies of the saints shall be so clear and transparent that all the veins, humours, nerves, and bowels shall be seen, as in a glass. It is sure that they are so to God when first formed in the womb.”

e. In Your book they were all written, the days fashioned for me: God’s perfect knowledge did not only extend to the past, before David was born. It also extended to the future, and God knew David’s days as if they had been written in a book.

i. “The Lord’s writing in the book (cf. Psalm 51:1Psalm 69:28) refers to God’s knowledge and blessing of his child ‘all the days’ of his life (cf. Ephesians 2:10). His life was written in the book of life, and each of his days was numbered.” (VanGemeren)

B. Our response to the greatness of God.

1. (17-18) The precious nature of God’s thoughts to me.

How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How great is the sum of them!
I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand;
When I awake, I am still with You.

a. How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God: David was filled with amazement and adoration by considering how God knew and cared for him. It is precious that God should think of us at all; it is beyond precious that He would think well of us and think so often of us.

i. How precious: “The root meaning of the word rendered ‘precious’ is weighty. The singer would weigh God’s thoughts towards him, and finds that they weigh down his scales.” (Maclaren)

ii. “He is not alarmed at the fact that God knows all about him; on the contrary, he is comforted, and even feels himself to be enriched, as with a casket of precious jewels. That God should think upon him is the believer’s treasure and pleasure.” (Spurgeon)

b.If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand: David used a powerful image to illustrate the idea of how often God thinks of us. We imagine standing on a shore and wondering just how many grains of sand fill the beach – yet God’s thoughts are more in number.

i. “Thoughts such as are natural to the Creator, the Preserver, the Redeemer, the Father, the Friend, are evermore flowing from the heart of the Lord. Thoughts of our pardon, renewal, upholding, supplying, educating, perfecting, and a thousand more kinds perpetually well up in the mind of the Most High.” (Spurgeon)

ii. “You know that people are very proud if a king has merely looked at them; I have heard of a man who used to boast, all his life, that King George IV. – such a beauty as he was! – once spoke to him. He only said, ‘Get out of the road;’ but it was a king who said it, so the man felt greatly gratified thereby. But you and I, beloved, can rejoice that God, before whom kings are as grasshoppers, actually thinks of us, and thinks of us often.” (Spurgeon)

c. When I awake, I am still with You: Day or night, David thought of God because he knew the greatness of God’s thoughts to him. At the waking of the day, the wonderful presence of God was still with him.

i. “He awakes from sleep, and is conscious of glad wonder to find that, like a tender mother by her slumbering child, God has been watching over him, and that all the blessed communion of past days abides as before.” (Maclaren)

ii. The thoughts about the greatness of God’s love “…are like a dream; but, unlike a dream, God’s love is real. When awake the psalmist knows that he still enjoys God’s presence.” (VanGemeren)

iii. “When I awake may therefore have its strongest sense, a glimpse of resurrection.” (Kidner)

2. (19-22) Longing for righteousness and justice.

Oh, that You would slay the wicked, O God!
Depart from me, therefore, you bloodthirsty men.
For they speak against You wickedly;
Your enemies take Your name 
in vain.
Do I not hate them, O LORD, who hate You?
And do I not loathe those who rise up against You?
I hate them with perfect hatred;
I count them my enemies.

a. Oh, that You would slay the wicked: David abruptly shifted from a spirit of wonder and adoration to intense prayer against the wicked and against bloodthirsty men. It wasn’t primarily because these men opposed David, but because they opposed God: for they speak against You wickedly. David’s adoration filled him with zeal for God’s honor.

i. “The abrupt change in the psalm from reverie to resolve is disturbing, but wholly biblical in its realism.” (Kidner)

ii. “Crimes committed before the face of the Judge are not likely to go unpunished…. God who sees all evil will slay all evil.” (Spurgeon)

iii. “A faithful servant hath the same interests, the same friends, the same enemies with his Master, whose cause and honor he is, upon all occasions, in duty bound to support and maintain.” (Horne)

b. Do I not hate them, O LORD, who hate You? David was undeniably God’s partisan. He wanted to be on God’s side, and therefore even allowed himself to hate those who hated God. In fact, David boasted I hate them with perfect hatred, regarding them as enemies.

i. David went against a spirit also evident in our day – against the idea that we can love God without hating evil. It is entirely possible for a person to be too loving, and it corrupts his claimed love for God.

ii. “A good man hates, as God himself doth: he hates not the persons of men, but their sins; not what God made them, but what they have made themselves.” (Horne)

iii. “We are neither to hate the men, on account of the vices they practice; nor to love the vices, for the sake of the men who practice them.” (Horne)

3. (23-24) A humble prayer to a great God.

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
And see if there is any 
wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.

a. Search me, O God, and know my heart: David came to the God of perfect knowledge and constant presence knowing He was also a God of love, and could be trusted to search him and to know him at the deepest levels. This is also an admission that God knew David better than David knew himself, and that he needed God to search and know him.

i. David took his theological understanding of God’s nature and attributes and applied it to his own personal discipleship. The nature and attributes of God were not mere theories; they were guides to David’s spiritual growth.

ii. David knew that he could not know his heart at its depths, so he asked God to know it. “The ultimate word of Greek philosophy, ‘Man, know thyself,’ was really valuable because it brought man face to face with the impossible.” (Morgan)

iii. “Very beautifully does the lowly prayer for searching and guidance follow the psalmist’s burst of fire. It is easier to glow with indignation against evildoers than to keep oneself from doing evil. Many secret sins may hide under a cloak of zeal for the Lord.” (Maclaren)

iv. “The rejection of evil arises from the psalmist’s spirit of commitment to the Lord and not from pride. This is clear from his prayer, asking for God to discern his motives and his actions.” (VanGemeren)

v. “I call upon you to be cautious in using this prayer. It is easy to mock God, by asking him to search you whilst you have made but little effort to search yourselves, and perhaps still less to act upon the result of the scrutiny.” (Melvill, cited in Spurgeon)

b. Try me, and know my anxieties: David wanted God to examine him and look for worry. Such anxieties could be evidence of unbelief or misplaced trust.

c. See if there is any wicked way in me: David opened his soul completely before God, asking if there were any unknown or unperceived sins. This showed how much he cared for holiness in his life, and how humble he was in recognizing that there could be an unperceived wicked way in himself.

i. When prayed sincerely, this is something of a dangerous prayer – worthy, yet dangerous. “It is a serious thing to pray, because it invites painful exposures and surgery, if we truly mean it. Still it is what every wise believer should desire.” (Boice)

ii. “The [King James Version] says ‘wicked way’; but the [Revised Version] margin gives ‘way of grief.’ We may be in a way that causes God grief, even though it is not what men might term a way of wickedness.” (Meyer)

d. Lead me in the way everlasting: David ended this majestic psalm by declaring his destination – the way everlasting. Trusting the God of complete knowledge and constant presence would bring David to everlasting life. The way of holiness prayed for in the previous lines was the way everlasting.

i. “We have been going in ways of grief. We desire to go in the way everlasting – the way of eternal life; the way which we shall never need to retrace; the way that touches the deepest life possible to the creature.” (Meyer)

ii. “The final words could be translated ‘the ancient way’ as in Jeremiah 6:16 (cf. Revised Standard Version mg., New English Bible); but the majority of translators would appear to be right in rendering them the way everlasting, in contrast to the way of the wicked which will perish.” (Kidner)

(c) 2020 The Enduring Word Bible Commentary by David Guzik.

April 26- May 2, 2020

Psalm 37:3-4 — Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.


Put your trust and delight in the LORD.

Trust in the LORD, and do good;
Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
Delight yourself also in the LORD,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

a. Trust in the LORD, and do good: Instead of worrying and envying, David counseled the man or woman of God to simply trust God and do good for His glory. It is remarkable how quickly we can get distracted from the simple work of trusting God and doing good. Looking at the seeming prosperity of the wicked is one way we are often distracted.

i. “Faith cures fretting. Sight is cross-eyed, and views things only as they seem, hence her envy; faith has clearer optics to behold things as they really are, hence her peace.” (Spurgeon)

b. Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness: David also counseled the man or woman of God to leave aside worry and envy by simply enjoying the blessings God gives. He provided Israel a land to enjoy, and His faithfulness was like food for them every day.

c. Delight yourself also in the LORD: David advised the man or woman of God to replace worry and envy with a conscious delight in the LORD. This means to cheer one’s heart and mind by considering and by faith receiving the multiple blessings of God.

i. Delight yourself: Several writers explain and apply this idea.

· “Expect all thy happiness from him, and seek it in him.” (Clarke)

· “It includes a deliberate redirection of one’s emotions…[such as] Paul and Silas in prison, singing as well as praying.” (Kidner)

· “We cannot delight thus without effort. We must withdraw our eager desires from the things of earth, fastening and fixing them on Him.” (Meyer)

· “In a certain sense imitate the wicked; they delight in their portion – take care to delight in yours, and so far from envying you will pity them.” (Spurgeon)

· “The reason many apparent Christians do not delight in God is that they do not know him very well, and the reason they do not know him very well is that they do not spend time with him.” (Boice)

ii. “Do not think first of the desires of thy heart, but think first of delighting thyself in thy God. If thou hast accepted him as thy Lord, he is thine; so delight in him, and then he will give thee the desires of thy heart.” (Spurgeon)

iii. We notice that David wrote delight yourself also in the LORD. The word also is important, reminding us that there are legitimate joys and pleasures in life outside the life of the spirit. The believer who truly trusts God has the capability to also find true delight in the LORD.

iv. “Again, he delights in you; I speak to such of whom this may be supposed. And it is indefinitely said, ‘His delights were with the sons of men,’ Proverbs 8:31. Think what he is, and what you are; and at once, both wonder and yield.” (Howe, cited in Spurgeon)

d. And He shall give you the desires of your heart: This is a wonderful and even safe promise. The one who truly delights in the LORD will find his heart and desires changed, steadily aligning with God’s own good desires for his life. Thus we see that finding delight in God is a key to a happy, satisfied life.

i. This shows that God intends to fulfill the heart desires of the redeemed man or woman of God. To be sure, it is possible for such desires to be clouded by sin or selfishness; yet even when so clouded there is almost always a godly root to the desire that is entirely in the will of God. The man or woman of God should find his or her rest in this, and leave aside worry and envy.

ii. “They said of Martin Luther as he walked thestreets, ‘There comes a man that can have anything of God he likes.’ You ask the reason of it. Because Luther delighted himself in his God.” (Spurgeon)

iii. The principle of Psalm 37:4 is the foundation for a principle sometimes called Christian Hedonism. Normally, we think of hedonism as the idolatry of pleasure. The term Christian Hedonism has been used to describe a righteous pursuit of satisfaction and pleasure, one that is rooted in a delighted focus upon God.

iv. Most of all, it shows that when we delight ourselves in the LORD, He gives us our delight. If He is our delight, He gives us more of Himself. “Longings fixed on Him fulfill themselves.”


April 19-25


Psalm 34 A fugitive from Saul, David went to the Philistine city of Gath but found no refuge there and narrowly escaped with his life. Those events are recorded in 1 Samuel 21:10-22:1

Following that, David went to the cave at Adullam where many desperate men joined him. Many believe that Psalm 34 seems to have been written from that cave, and sung among the company of those men. It was written as a reminder that God delivers us from our enemiesand even from the fear we feel when hiding from an enemy.

The structure of this psalm is an acrostic. Each verse begins with a letter of the Hebrew alphabet (with the exception of the letter waw). The purpose of the acrostic format was used to encourage learning and memorization.

Psalm 34

I will extol the Lord at all times;

    his praise will always be on my lips.

I will glory in the Lord;

    let the afflicted hear and rejoice.

Glorify the Lord with me;

    let us exalt his name together.

I sought the Lord, and he answered me;

    he delivered me from all my fears.

Those who look to him are radiant;

    their faces are never covered with shame.

This poor man called, and the Lord heard him;

    he saved him out of all his troubles.

The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him,

    and he delivers them.

Taste and see that the Lord is good;

    blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.

Fear the Lord, you his holy people,

    for those who fear him lack nothing.

10 The lions may grow weak and hungry,

    but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.

11 Come, my children, listen to me;

    I will teach you the fear of the Lord.

12 Whoever of you loves life

    and desires to see many good days,

13 keep your tongue from evil

    and your lips from telling lies.

14 Turn from evil and do good;

    seek peace and pursue it.

15 The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,

    and his ears are attentive to their cry;

16 but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil,

    to blot out their name from the earth.

17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;

    he delivers them from all their troubles.

18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted

    and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

19 The righteous person may have many troubles,

    but the Lord delivers him from them all;

20 he protects all his bones,

    not one of them will be broken.

21 Evil will slay the wicked;

    the foes of the righteous will be condemned.

22 The Lord will rescue his servants;

    no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.


  1. Psalm 34:1 This psalm is an acrostic poem, the verses of which begin with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet.
  2. Psalm 34:1 In Hebrew texts 34:1-22 is numbered 34:2-23.

Abimelech was probably a title given to rulers among the Philistines; the ruler’s proper name was Achish (1 Samuel 21:10).


New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. 

April 12-18, 2020

Resurrection Sunday

Resurrection Sunday is an observance and reminder that we serve a Risen Savior. Meditate on the truth that Jesus is alive!

Move beyond knowing this in your intellect, and take hold of it in your heart. For without the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, there is no reason to hope and no call to share the truth of the gospel.

All too often, we wander—choosing our own path—and consequently miss a genuine visitation from God’s presence and an opportunity to experience His abundant blessing. 

Right now, remind yourself that with God, all things are possible!

Don’t dwell on the negative. God is focused on the positive. Even death was swallowed up in victory in the presence of our Savior. 

John 20:1–8 (ESV): 1 Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. 2 So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” 3 So Peter went out with the other disciple, and they were going toward the tomb. 4 Both of them were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 And stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there, 7 and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself. 8 Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed;

1 Corinthians 15 (NIV): 

The Resurrection of Christ

1 Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.

3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance[a]: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas,[b] and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.

9 For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. 11 Whether, then, it is I or they, this is what we preach, and this is what you believed.

The Resurrection of the Dead

12 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.

20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. 24 Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For he “has put everything under his feet.”[c] Now when it says that “everything” has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. 28 When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.

29 Now if there is no resurrection, what will those do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized for them? 30 And as for us, why do we endanger ourselves every hour? 31 I face death every day—yes, just as surely as I boast about you in Christ Jesus our Lord. 32 If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus with no more than human hopes, what have I gained? If the dead are not raised,

“Let us eat and drink,

    for tomorrow we die.”[d]

33 Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”[e] 34 Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God—I say this to your shame.

The Resurrection Body

35 But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?” 36 How foolish! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. 37 When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else. 38 But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body. 39 Not all flesh is the same: People have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds another and fish another. 40 There are also heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies; but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies is another. 41 The sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs from star in splendor.

42 So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; 43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.

If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”[f]; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. 46 The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. 47 The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven. 48 As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we[g] bear the image of the heavenly man.

50 I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”[h]


“Where, O death, is your victory?

    Where, O death, is your sting?”[i]

56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.


  1. 1 Corinthians 15:3 Or you at the first
  2. 1 Corinthians 15:5 That is, Peter
  3. 1 Corinthians 15:27 Psalm 8:6
  4. 1 Corinthians 15:32 Isaiah 22:13
  5. 1 Corinthians 15:33 From the Greek poet Menander
  6. 1 Corinthians 15:45 Gen. 2:7
  7. 1 Corinthians 15:49 Some early manuscripts so let us
  8. 1 Corinthians 15:54 Isaiah 25:8
  9. 1 Corinthians 15:55 Hosea 13:14


Apr. 5 – Apr. 11, 2020

Passion Week Timeline: During this holy week, we can build our love toward God and increase our faith as believers by meditating on the events leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection:

  • Palm Sunday, which commemorates Jesus’ humble entry on a donkey into Jerusalem to observe Passover where he was greeted by crowds who spread their cloaks and laid palm leaves in his path, proclaiming him the Son of David. 
  • Maundy Thursday marks the Last Supper.
  • Good Friday commemorates Jesus’ suffering and death on the cross. 
  • Resurrection Sunday is the celebration of Jesus rising from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion. 

This week, let’s look at PALM SUNDAY: All four writers of the gospels share the accounts of the Lord’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem, and leading up to his death and resurrection. These scriptures can help you meditate on Jesus:

Matthew 21:1-11 New International Version (NIV) – Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King

1 As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.”

4 This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:

“Say to Daughter Zion,

    ‘See, your king comes to you,

gentle and riding on a donkey,

    and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”[a]

6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. 8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,

“Hosanna[b] to the Son of David!”

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”[c]

“Hosanna[d] in the highest heaven!”

10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”

11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”

Mark 11: 1-10 – Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King

11 As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and just as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 3 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here shortly.’”

4 They went and found a colt outside in the street, tied at a doorway. As they untied it, 5 some people standing there asked, “What are you doing, untying that colt?” 6 They answered as Jesus had told them to, and the people let them go. 7 When they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks over it, he sat on it. 8 Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields. 9 Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted,


“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”[b]

10 “Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!”

“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

Luke 19:29-38 New International Version (NIV)

29 As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, 30 “Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it.’”

32 Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them. 33 As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?”

34 They replied, “The Lord needs it.”

35 They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it. 36 As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road.

37 When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:

38 “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”[a]

“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

John 12:12-15 New International Version (NIV) – Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King

12 The next day the great crowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. 13 They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting,


“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”[b]

“Blessed is the king of Israel!”

14 Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, as it is written:

15 “Do not be afraid, Daughter Zion;

    see, your king is coming,

    seated on a donkey’s colt.”[c]

Mar. 29 – Apr. 4, 2020

This week, as you read Psalm 23 and 24, you’ll see that our heavenly Father wants to show you His goodness. Let His Word encourage, uplift and strengthen you. 

As you meditate in God’s words full of comfort, His Spirit will minister life to you like never before. As a believer, simply receive the benefits of all the care and tenderness of our good Shepherd. Trust and accept God’s Word as truth. Let that truth comfort you until we’re all together again — which we believe is coming soon.

Be assured that we’re praying for you, everyday. If there is anything we can do to encourage you, please call us.

We love you and miss you,

Pastor Gary & Shirley

Psalm 23 — A psalm of David.

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
    he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
    for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,a]”>[a]
I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord

Psalm 24

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it,
    the world, and all who live in it;
for he founded it on the seas
    and established it on the waters.

Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord?
    Who may stand in his holy place?
The one who has clean hands and a pure heart,
    who does not trust in an idol
    or swear by a false god.b]”>[b]

They will receive blessing from the Lord
    and vindication from God their Savior.
Such is the generation of those who seek him,
    who seek your face, God of Jacob.c]”>[c]d]”>[d]

Lift up your heads, you gates;
    be lifted up, you ancient doors,
    that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory?
    The Lord strong and mighty,
    the Lord mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, you gates;
    lift them up, you ancient doors,
    that the King of glory may come in.
10 Who is he, this King of glory?
    The Lord Almighty—
    he is the King of glory.



  1. Psalm 23:4 Or the valley of the shadow of death
  2. Psalm 24:4 Or swear falsely
  3. Psalm 24:6 Two Hebrew manuscripts and Syriac (see also Septuagint); most Hebrew manuscripts face, Jacob
  4. Psalm 24:6 The Hebrew has Selah (a word of uncertain meaning) here and at the end of verse 10.

New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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